ARC - audio delay w/ Xbox One, Samsung TV

  • 11 March 2021
  • 3 replies

Hi All,

This is a common issue I’m aware, but I haven’t received any useable solutions from Sonos support or Samsung nor seen any smoking gun solutions online.

Sonos ARC with Gen3 Sub and Sonos AMP powering rear in-ceilings

Samsung UA40KU6000

Xbox One X

As the title explains, there is an audio delay experienced on the ARC, typically when outputting dolby digital via bitstream to the TV and back to the ARC via hdmi arc. The Xbox has a handy feature in that it wirelessly outputs audio to your controller’s 3.5mm output jack, whilst also outputting normal audio - the audio from the controller is instant or near instant so it’s a great tool to hear for any discrepancies.


Testing is as follows with HDMI ARC:

Xbox set to PCM stereo. TV set to PCM stereo - Instant or near instant (felt I could hear a slight delay but very hard to tell and impossible to tell without the headphone monitors)

Xbox set to Bitstream, Dolby Digital. TV set to Bitstream but PCM (stereo) format. - Very noticeable delay

Xbox set to Bitstream, Dolby Digital. TV set to Bitstream, Dolby Digital. - very significant delay (gun shot sound almost finishes in headphones before it starts on soundbar)


Testing with Xbox optical out direct to soundbar:

Xbox audio set to bitstream, Dolby Digital. - Instant sound. Perfect!


Testing with TV optical out to soundbar:

(same results as HDMI ARC testing in all settings)


From this, there is either a delay being applied when the Xbox is sending audio through HDMI via bitstream, or the TV when the TV is processing the audio.


Naturally, everyone would say just use the optical out direct to the soundbar, but I have other video sources (output stereo only) so the sound won’t go through the soundbar for these devices. I want to get to the bottom of this as I’d like to purchase an eArc TV to get Atmos, but obviously this can only be achieved through HDMI and with some of the experiences I’ve seen, I’m quite hesitant.


Does anyone have any advice? Or at least where to point the finger and knuckle down for some answers?



Best answer by James L. 12 March 2021, 10:04

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3 replies

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Hi @RubesAus, welcome to the community.


From your very detailed testing it certainly seems to me like the TV is adding the delay to the audio stream. As you pointed out, there’s no delay when the Xbox is hooked up directly to the Arc and there’s no perceivable delay through your controller’s 3.5mm jack (which is a direct connection to the Xbox) so I don’t think your console is adding the latency here. I suppose it could be possible there’s some delay being imposed through the Xbox’s bitstream conversion, but I have a strong feeling the issue lies with the TV itself.

The only way to sure-fire confirm this theory is by switching out the TV, though I do realize that may not be an easy task. If you have a secondary TV in the house to test with that would be ideal before jumping the gun on such a large purchase.

Thanks James, yes I’ll see if I can obtain a second TV from someone to test.

I guess though that there are TVs out there that will send Dolby Atmos to the ARC without adding in audio delay or at least noticeable audio delay?

Badge +17

I guess though that there are TVs out there that will send Dolby Atmos to the ARC without adding in audio delay or at least noticeable audio delay?

I would certainly imagine so! We have many users that game through Arc without any perceivable delay on a variety of different consoles. If you do end up going the route of purchasing another TV I recommend getting one with eARC so you can get the most out of Arc and hopefully decrease the chances of audio delay.